1. Use a study plan template
I know that not everyone likes planning as much as I do. But a study plan template is really one of the best organisational tips for students.
In such a study plan template you can note down all your exams, submissions, study units and important dates or lectures.
Digital has the advantage that you can quickly make adjustments if something changes at short notice.
2. Use a USB stick and organise it into folders.
At most universities, a lot of things are digital. That’s why you need a USB stick on which you can store all your important files.
However, your USB stick should not mutate into a virtual storage room – keep it tidy as well.
Create a separate folder for each module. In each module folder, create another folder for each lecture.
This way you have everything together for each lecture and keep everything in order right from the start!
It can also be useful to have folders for “exam-related” items or for specific documents or templates.
3. ALWAYS work with colours in these moments.
When a lecturer says the word “exam relevant”, everyone in the lecture hall wakes up from their sleep.
In these moments, you should listen very carefully and note down the relevant material AND mark it with a colour.
For example, I have defined the colour purple as relevant to the exam. When I study at the end of the semester, I can immediately see what is relevant.
It is therefore super important that you make these marks DURING the semester. Even though you might think to yourself “Yes, yes, I might remember that” – NO! You will not, trust me.
4. Nothing works without a study planner!
If your university doesn’t provide you with a study planner, you should definitely get one!
Use it to note down all of your homework, upcoming presentations, submissions or exams.
Compared to a study plan, a study planner is more like a to-do list over a longer period of time that reminds you of everything important.
5. Always have your timetable at hand
When is which lecture taking place in which room?
So that you don’t spend a lot of time wandering around the corridors of your university, it’s best to staple a printed version of your timetable to your study planner or take a photo of it with your mobile phone.
I always have a note on my phone with my current timetable. Because I always have my phone in my hand anyway, I can quickly check where I need to go next.
6. Organise your studies with an app – use to-do lists
Another organisational tip for students is to use to-do lists for smaller tasks.
At the top, always write down the most important tasks. These are the to-dos that you will do first.
This ensures that you don’t waste time on less important things.
If you are more the analogue type, you can use a ready-made list for your to-do lists.
7. Always take notes
You hear SO much different information a day as a student. You can never remember it all.
So take notes in every lecture. You can either create them digitally and save them in the appropriate folder on your USB stick or use a “Look at Me I’m so Old School” notepad.
8. Set fixed time slots for planning
Not only does studying take time, but so does planning.
Therefore, make it a habit to regularly plan your new week and ask yourself the following questions:
What needs to be done?
What do you want to focus on?
Which appointments should you not miss?
It is best to plan the new week either at the weekend or on Monday morning when you have time.
I would reckon with about half an hour for planning.
9. Plan for the long term & RATIONALLY
This organisational tip for students is SO important if you want to avoid prolonging your studies unnecessarily.
Especially students in their first semester make the mistake of not really looking at their studies as a whole.
But you should definitely do that! You have to know when you have to attend which lectures, when which internships are scheduled and when the registration for them is.
If you forget just one little thing, it could well extend your studies.
I also had such problems with the small print and had to study longer as a result. I know many others who have experienced the same thing.
10. Keep your email inbox tidy
Most information in your studies comes via email.
Make sure that important emails do not get lost in the flood of messages.
ALWAYS label important emails so you can find them quickly. You can also create a folder and collect them there.